Unsurprisingly, given my state of knackeration, I slept well that first night. But more importantly I woke up at the right time.
I'd a breakfast appointment with Dann and Martha. They took me to a diner in Somerville for exactly the breakfast I needed. The type of egg and bacon combination that always gets the day off to a good start. That and lots of coffee.
I've pretty much abandoned breakfasting in American hotels. It rarely comes included and a diner always trumps it for atmosphere, price and often quality, too. There's something I love about American diners, and I'm sure it's not jsut a false nostalgia engendered by film and TV. Just like London cafes, they offer a glimpse into daily life and daily lives. And they sell bacon. What's not to like?
Bellies full, we dropped by the Pretty Things office, also in Somerville. We needed to pick up the stuff for that evening's 1955 Brown Ale launch at the Independent, located just around the corner. Then on to the Independent to start setting up. Decorating tables, hanging up banners, that sort of thing.
A love of dressing up is one of Pretty Things' best features. Once again, they didn't disappoint. Dann has a particular knack for getting the facial hair spot on. I think you'll agree that this was another triumph:
Made me wish I'd got a costume, too.
We didn't idle around listlessly before the evening event. Dann filled the afternoon with and industry event in their office. Where, as a special treat, there was cask Double Brown. Sorry all you craft fan boys, but, once again, here was proof of the superiority of a well-handled cask over keg. It wees all over it. Every day of the week, every month of the year.
Pulled through a sparkler, both the head and carbonation level were spot on. It's not just in flavour where cask is a clear winner. It's also in drinkability. The higher temperature and lower carbonation help it ease its way down your neck almost unnoticed. A few pints quickly evaporated as I chatted with old friends and new acquaintances. There would be little time for chatting later on.
The evening in the Independent was busy, loud, slightly anarchic, but loads of fun. Given the crowds, noise and general boisterousness, it was just as well I really did say just a few words. My shortest talk of the tour by at least an hour.
I'm so occupied by signing books and chatting to punters that it's only when I'm back in the hotel that I realise I forgot to try the other Pretty Things beers being launched, Grampus. A double-mash monster of a beer. Then again, given the length of the day, sticking to the modestly-strengthed Double Brown perhaps wasn't such a bad idea.
Having an early start the next day, I didn't stay up late. We were all off to New Yotk City for more events, more beer and hopefully lots more fun. We'll find out how that went next time.
The Home Brewer's Guide to Vintage Beer
75 Union Square,
Tel: 617 440 6022
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